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Author: admin, 06.04.2014
Leashes are mandatory when your dog has exposure to cars, joggers, bikers, skateboarders and other potential hazards. Nancy has more than 30 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified veterinary specialist in internal medicine as well as a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2014. See related patient information handout on preventing noise-induced hearing loss, written by the author of this article.
Noise-induced hearing loss is a sensorineural hearing deficit that begins at the higher frequencies (3,000 to 6,000 Hz) and develops gradually as a result of chronic exposure to excessive sound levels.1 Although the loss is typically symmetric, noise from such sources as firearms or sirens may produce an asymmetric loss.
Epidemiological evaluation of hearing damage related to strongly amplified music (personal cassette players, discotheques, rock concerts): high definition audiometric survey on 1,364 subjects.
Noise-induced hearing loss in young adults: the role of personal listening devices and other sources of leisure noise.
This happens when noise damages the hair cells, which are the tiny sensory cells that receive sound and convert it into electrical signals that our brains then interpret and understand. Hair cells can be damaged in a split second, by a single exposure to a loud “impulse” sound.
If you’re regularly exposed to noise, you can protect your hearing by wearing ANSI-certified ear muffs or ear plugs. What type of loud sounds have you been exposed to that have caused noise related hearing loss? As well as older volunteers from Northern Ireland, Rights 4 Seniors is welcoming guest bloggers from the private and charity sectors. Today's is from Hearing Direct, a supplier of hard-of-hearing aids and information, based in Hampshire, England. Therefore, it is important to recognise the symptoms of age-related hearing loss and the adverse affect loss of hearing can have on our well-being. Unlike other common types of hearing loss (mainly noise-induced), age-related hearing loss often occurs in both ears. Age-related hearing loss is an irreversible natural process which can start from about the age of 40.
If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss it is important to consult with a health professional. Hearing Direct who sell a range of products to help the hard-of-hearing, from hearing aids to assistive mobile phones.
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Make sure that every member of your dog’s support team (veterinary staff, pet sitter, groomer, dog walker, doggie day care provider) knows about his hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common form of sensorineural hearing deficit, after presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). As many as 30 million Americans are exposed to potentially harmful sound levels in their workplaces.3 Outside of work, many persons pursue recreational activities that can produce harmful noise. When excessive, this force can lead to cellular metabolic overload, cell damage and cell death. Screening audiometry performed in the office revealed a 30-dB (mild) elevation of hearing thresholds at 4,000 Hz.
An occupational hearing conservation program includes engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise exposures, employee training in the use of hearing protection and annual audiometry for all workers who are exposed to noise.Physicians providing occupational health services to a company may supervise the hearing conservation program, review abnormal audiograms and advise the program administrator.
Holding a 512-Hz or 1,024-Hz vibrating tuning fork against the mastoid process, the physician asks the patient to indicate when the sound can no longer be heard. Audiologists can test a greater number of frequencies and can measure air and bone conduction to confirm whether the loss is sensorineural, conductive or mixed.

By preventing noise-induced hearing loss, patients can reduce the impact of age-related changes on their hearing. The Cochlea within the human ear (see diagram, right) contains about 15,000 tiny hairs which pick up waves of sound. The condition develops over many years and, as the process is gradual, it can be difficult to notice.
Your GP or local hearing centre will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend suitable solutions. Admittedly, even when I know that my patient is deaf, I still tend to talk to him in my usual fashion. I recently heard dog trainer, Turid Rugaas explain that, when a dog enters a new situation, the dog’s eyes create the first impression, but it’s the nose that fills in the details. Shearing forces caused by any sound have an impact on the stereocilia of the hair cells of the basilar membrane of the cochlea; when excessive, these forces can cause cell death.
Sixty million Americans own firearms, and many use them without adequate hearing protection.4 Other nonoccupational sources of noise include chain saws and other power tools, amplified music,5 and recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and motorcycles. The physician can clarify this test by performing the test on himself or herself, plugging one ear with a finger to simulate a conductive loss.
At this point, the physician places the tuning fork in front of the auditory meatus to determine whether the sound can be heard again. They can also perform tests for speech discrimination and speech reception threshold.If a unilateral or asymmetric sensorineural loss, tinnitus, vertigo or other significant ear pathology is found, referral to an otolaryngologist is warranted. Hearing aids can amplify sounds but, despite technologic advances, often cannot fully correct problems of speech discrimination. Family physicians should educate and motivate patients of all ages to avoid potentially damaging noise, use hearing protection when necessary and seek treatment for an existing hearing deficit.
Olfactory stimulation is known to impact canine behavior, as demonstrated by Lynne Graham, Deborah Wells and Peter Hepper in a study published on Applied Animal Behaviour. Some types of toys for children can produce sounds capable of causing permanent hearing damage.6Noise can be described in terms of intensity (perceived as loudness) and frequency (perceived as pitch). Concurrent exposure to ototoxic substances, such as solvents and heavy metals, may increase the damage potential of noise.7 Once exposure to damaging noise levels is discontinued, further significant progression of hearing loss stops. In response to questioning, the girl reported spending several hours a day listening to music through head-phones.
Normal hearing patients and patients with sensorineural hearing loss hear the sound longer through air than bone.
An aid should be carefully matched to the person's hearing deficit and lifestyle by a trained audiologist. Rabinowitz received his medical degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and completed a residency in family medicine at Natividad Medical Center, Salinas, Calif. When the body ages, the tiny hairs become less responsive or totally non-responsive and our ability to hear, particularly higher frequency sounds, is significantly diminished.
Every veterinarian can tell you stories of older, hearing-impaired dogs who were run over in their own driveways.
Given our close contact, I like to think that my patient feels more secure sensing vibrations coming from my body. By providing a richer smelling life for your dog, you may help fill in some of his sensory gaps caused by the hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by avoiding excessive noise and using hearing protection such as earplugs and earmuffs. Both the intensity and the duration of noise exposure determine the potential for damage to the hair cells of the inner ear.

The previous night, she had spent several hours at a rock concert without wearing hearing protection.
If hearing is symmetric, the patient perceives the sound in the middle of the forehead.FIGURE 4. In a conductive hearing loss, bone conduction becomes equal to or greater than air conduction. When hearing loss is suspected, a thorough history, physical examination and audiometry should be performed. Noise exposure measurements are often expressed as dB(A), a scale weighted toward sounds at higher frequencies, to which the human ear is more sensitive.
If these examinations disclose evidence of hearing loss, referral for full audiologic evaluation is recommended. Noise can cause permanent hearing loss at chronic exposures equal to an average SPL of 85 dB(A) or higher for an eight-hour period.7 Based on the logarithmic scale, a 3-dB increase in SPL represents a doubling of the sound intensity. An audiogram hearing threshold level above 20 dB is considered abnormal.If the loss appears to be sensorineural, etiologies other than noise should be excluded. The physical examination of the ears should assess presence of cerumen impaction or evidence of middle ear disease.
While this type of loss in early childhood is often caused by congenital factors,22A  presbycusis becomes the most common sensorineural condition after midlife.
Although complete recovery from a given episode can occur, repeated episodes of such shifts occurring after noise exposures give way to permanent threshold shifts because hair cells in the cochlea are progressively lost.CASE 2A 55-year-old factory worker consulted his family physician because of ringing in his ears and depression that began soon after the onset of the tinnitus.
The Weber and Rinne tests, performed with a 512-Hz or 1,024-Hz tuning fork can provide clues to whether the loss is conductive or sensorineural. He had seldom worn hearing protection at work, where he had to shout to communicate with co-workers. In the Weber test (Figure 4), sound will lateralize to the side away from a sensorineural loss and toward a conductive deficit.
Away from work, he had difficulty understanding conversations in crowded rooms, and he said he often argued with his wife about the volume of the television set. The Rinne test (Figure 5) will demonstrate air conduction better than bone conduction if the loss is sensorineural. The clinician can motivate patients to maintain their hearing health and thereby reduce the risk of hearing disability as they grow older (Tables 2 and 3).
Key factors in this effort are learning to avoid excessive noise when possible and correctly using hearing protection when necessary. The patient was referred to an audiologist, who confirmed a sensorineural hearing loss that was probably caused by excessive noise exposure, with superimposed age-related changes. Hearing protectors, including earmuffs, disposable earplugs and custom-fitted earplugs, can provide 20 to 40 dB of attenuation when used correctly.
Physicians can obtain samples from manufacturers and keep them in the office for distribution and demonstration of techniques for proper use. Tinnitus is a common symptom of noise overexposure, and it further interferes with hearing acuity, sleep and concentration.

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